Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 24, 2014, 05:07:00 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
79266 Posts in 2227 Topics by 1037 Members
Latest Member: DCoutinho
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 594
201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Inflation too low says Fed on: April 09, 2014, 09:59:24 PM
Fed Shows Growing Worry About Low Inflation
Central Bankers Around World Have Expressed Angst About Weakness in Global Economy
By Jon Hilsenrath
Updated April 9, 2014 7:48 p.m. ET

Federal Reserve officials are growing concerned the U.S. inflation rate won't budge from low levels, the latest sign of angst among central bankers about weakness in the global economy.

The Fed began 2014 hopeful that a strengthening U.S. economy would push very low inflation from 1% toward the 2% level that officials associate with healthy business activity. Three months into a year marked by unusually harsh winter weather, which appears to have damped economic growth, there is little evidence of such movement.

Fed officials expressed worry about the persistence of low inflation at a policy meeting last month, according to minutes of the meeting released by the central bank Wednesday. They discussed at the March 18-19 meeting whether to make a more explicit commitment to keeping short-term interest rates pinned near zero until they saw inflation move up, but chose instead to take a wait-and-see approach.


Low inflation is high on the agenda of global central bankers and finance ministers gathering in Washington this week for semiannual meetings of the International Monetary Fund. Bank of Japan officials are trying to overcome more than a decade of on-again-off-again deflation, and inflation in Europe is running close to zero.

"We think there is also a risk of deflation, negative inflation. And we think that if this were to happen, this would make the adjustment both at the euro level, and even more so for the countries in the periphery, very difficult," IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard said of Europe on Tuesday, after the IMF released updated economic projections. "We think that everything should be done to try to avoid it."

On its face, flat consumer prices sound like a blessing that holds down household costs. But when tepid inflation is associated with small wage gains, excess business capacity and soft global demand, as now, economists see it as a sign of broader economic malaise that restrains investment and hiring. Exceptionally slow wage and profit gains also make it harder for household and business borrowers to pay off debt.

Fed officials believe the U.S. economy was soft in the early months of the year in part because of the weather, and they are now expecting a pickup. But if that doesn't happen, they could wait longer to start raising interest rates. Many central-bank officials and market participants don't expect rate increases until well into 2015.

"In light of their concerns about the possible persistence of low inflation, members agreed that inflation developments should be monitored carefully," the Fed minutes said.

IMF officials have been chiding European Central Bank officials, in particular, for failing to do enough to lift inflation in the euro area from well below 1%. Like the Fed, the ECB expects inflation to rise this year, but it is under greater pressure to act.

The IMF reduced its growth and inflation forecasts for 2014 and 2015 in projections released this week. It sees consumer-price inflation in developed economies this year of 1.5%, compared with 1.4% in 2013. It expects global growth this year of 3.6%, better than the 3% growth in 2013, but less than the 3.7% growth it projected in January.

Bruce Kasman, chief economist with J.P. Morgan Chase, said inflation is also softening in developing economies, most notably China. The development, he said, is taking pressure off central banks in places like India and Turkey to raise interest rates to prevent their economies from overheating.

"Six months from now, I think we'll see that inflation in the emerging markets is materially less than it was a year ago," Mr. Kasman said.

For years since the financial crisis ended, critics have warned central bankers that their low-interest-rate policies risked pushing consumer prices much higher as they flooded the world financial system with money.

But weak demand in many developed economies, combined with excess supply in places such as China, have hampered firms from raising consumer prices.

"Below-target inflation is a world-wide phenomenon, and it is difficult to be confident that all policy makers around the world have fully taken its challenge on board," said Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, in a speech in Washington on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department's personal consumption expenditures price index, which is the Fed's favored measure of inflation, was up 0.9% in February from a year earlier. The Labor Department's consumer-price index, an alternative measure, was up 1.1%.

Low inflation is high on the agenda of global central bankers and finance ministers gathering in Washington this week for semiannual meetings of the International Monetary Fund. Above, the Federal Reserve building in Washington.

The aluminum sector offers one stark view of the global tides holding down inflation. Aluminum prices are in the third year of a decline that has dented profits at the world's top producers and caused them to cut capacity to try to end an aluminum glut that analysts say has lasted for more than a decade.

Since April 2011, at a time when stimulus measures in China and the U.S. were boosting metals prices, raw aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange have dropped more than 35% to around $1,800 a ton. The average cost of making raw aluminum at a smelter is around $2,000 a ton, so many smelters around the world have been operating at a loss.

At some point, the oversupply will run its course, but it doesn't appear to have happened yet. On Tuesday, Alcoa Inc., AA +3.75% the world's top aluminum producer by revenue, said it swung to a net loss of $178 million, or 16 cents a share, from a profit of $149 million a year earlier, mainly because prices for raw aluminum fell 8% year-over-year. It also took a $255 million charge related to closing plants in Brazil, Australia and upstate New York. Alcoa said those closures eliminated 421,000 tons, or 10% of its overall capacity. Russia's United Rusal 0486.HK +1.37% PLC, the world's No. 1 producer by volume, is planning to reduce production by 330,000 tons, or 8%, in 2014.

Although Chinese government officials have pledged to reduce capacity, cuts have been resisted by local leaders eager to preserve jobs. Aluminum production in China is expected to increase 9% this year and 7% next year, according to Deutsche Bank.

In the U.S. and Europe, signposts of soft consumer demand also are evident. In Switzerland, executives at Swatch Group AG told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month that consumers were switching to lower-cost timepieces. In the U.S., companies such as Procter & Gamble Co. and Georgia Pacific Corp., among others, have been blitzing consumers with deals and coupons to lift sales.

Carnival Corp. is filling cabins on its cruise ships by reducing ticket prices—a situation the Miami-based company hopes is temporary. "As the economy improves and as demand is there, we should be able to get the pricing back without any problem," Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein told analysts last month.

—John W. Miller and Ben Leubsdorf contributed to this article.
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Massive El Nino forming? on: April 09, 2014, 09:45:50 PM


http://earthsky.org/earth/warm-water-in-pacific-could-spark-a-monster-el-nino-in-2014

The giant red blob in this image is a huge, unusual mass of warm water that currently spans the tropical Pacific Ocean. Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate, says the volume of water is big enough to cover the United States 300 feet deep. And that’s a lot of warm water, he says. Holthaus also says that, as the sub-surface warm water in the Pacific moves eastward – propelled by anomalous trade winds – it’s getting closer to the ocean’s surface. Once the warm water hits the sea surface, it will begin to interact with the atmosphere. Why? Because Earth’s oceans and atmosphere are always interacting. In this case, the warm water will likely boost temperatures and change weather patterns … and possibly bring on a monster El Nino in 2014. There are signs this is already beginning to happen.


El Niño 2014 Is Set To Be A Monster, But What Exactly Is It?

http://www.bustle.com/articles/20328-el-nio-2014-is-set-to-be-a-monster-but-what-exactly-is-it

This year, the major worry lies in the fact that there seems to be a lot of increasingly warm water loitering around the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology shows steadily warming water temperatures in the past three months, with projects for April propelling these high temperatures upwards (closer to the surface) and eastwards. An April 4 map of ocean temperatures further corroborates the story of warm water emerging on the ocean’s surface.

As these oceanic temperatures continue to rise, global temperatures will follow suit, which may lead to 2014 being named the hottest year on record. El Niño, together with its equal-but-opposite cycle La Nina, form the “biggest source of year-to-year climate variability.” In fact, four of the five warmest years reported were years that saw an El Niño.

Now that the tropical Pacific Ocean is warming and continues to warm, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society are suggesting that these temperatures will create enough energy to warm the rest of the world as well.


Monster El Nino Forming In The Pacific - OFF THE FREAKIN SCALE!

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/08/1290498/-Break-Out-Your-Sun-Tan-Lotion-Monster-El-Nino-Forming-In-The-Pacific?

The pool of 4-6+ degree Celsius above average temperatures continues to widen and lengthen, now covering 85 degrees of longitude from 170 East to 105 West. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that the zone of extreme 6+ C temperature anomalies has both widened and extended, covering about 50 degrees of longitude and swelling to a relative depth of about 30-40 meters. This is an extraordinarily intense temperature extreme that well exceeds those observed during the ramp-up to the record 1997-98 El Nino event.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sig sues ATF on: April 09, 2014, 09:30:33 PM


http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?aid=%2F20140409%2FNEWS%2F140409722
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cummings white as a sheet as the noose tightens on: April 09, 2014, 09:25:04 PM


http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/04/09/new-emaisl-show-lois-lerner-fed-information-about-true-the-vote-to-democrat-elijah-cummings-n1822247
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / He's improved by two votes on: April 09, 2014, 09:05:59 PM
Sorry I do not have a URL, but I gather Obama's budget just was voted down in the House 413-2.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: April 09, 2014, 07:57:10 PM
AS mentioned above:

"Risk is another factor. Nearly all the most dangerous occupations, such as loggers or iron workers, are majority male and 92% of work-related deaths in 2012 were to men. Dangerous jobs tend to pay higher salaries to attract workers. Also: Males are more likely to pursue occupations where compensation is risky from year to year, such as law and finance. Research shows that average pay in such jobs is higher to compensate for that risk."
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brandeis kitties out of degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali on: April 09, 2014, 07:55:32 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2014/04/09/brandeis-withdraws-honorary-degree-offer-to-ayaan-hirsi-ali/
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / So much of what progressivism knows is not so on: April 09, 2014, 02:08:23 PM
The '77 Cents on the Dollar' Myth About Women's Pay
Once education, marital status and occupations are considered, the 'gender wage gap' all but disappears.
WSJ
By Mark J. Perry and Andrew G. Biggs
April 7, 2014 6:58 p.m. ET

April 8 is "Equal Pay Day," an annual event to raise awareness regarding the so-called gender wage gap. As President Obama said in the State of the Union address, women "still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns," a claim echoed by the National Committee on Pay Equity, the American Association of University Women and other progressive groups.

The 23% gap implies that women work an extra 68 days to earn the same pay as a man. Mr. Obama advocates allowing women to sue for wage discrimination, with employers bearing the burden of proving they did not discriminate. But the numbers bandied about to make the claim of widespread discrimination are fundamentally misleading and economically illogical.

In its annual report, "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2012," the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that "In 2012, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $691. On average in 2012, women made about 81% of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($854)." Give or take a few percentage points, the BLS appears to support the president's claim.

But every "full-time" worker, as the BLS notes, is not the same: Men were almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week, and women almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week. Once that is taken into consideration, the pay gap begins to shrink. Women who worked a 40-hour week earned 88% of male earnings.

Then there is the issue of marriage and children. The BLS reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men's earnings in 2012.
Enlarge Image

Corbis

The supposed pay gap appears when marriage and children enter the picture. Child care takes mothers out of the labor market, so when they return they have less work experience than similarly-aged males. Many working mothers seek jobs that provide greater flexibility, such as telecommuting or flexible hours. Not all jobs can be flexible, and all other things being equal, those which are will pay less than those that do not.

Education also matters. Even within groups with the same educational attainment, women often choose fields of study, such as sociology, liberal arts or psychology, that pay less in the labor market. Men are more likely to major in finance, accounting or engineering. And as the American Association of University Women reports, men are four times more likely to bargain over salaries once they enter the job market.

Risk is another factor. Nearly all the most dangerous occupations, such as loggers or iron workers, are majority male and 92% of work-related deaths in 2012 were to men. Dangerous jobs tend to pay higher salaries to attract workers. Also: Males are more likely to pursue occupations where compensation is risky from year to year, such as law and finance. Research shows that average pay in such jobs is higher to compensate for that risk.

While the BLS reports that full-time female workers earned 81% of full-time males, that is very different than saying that women earned 81% of what men earned for doing the same jobs, while working the same hours, with the same level of risk, with the same educational background and the same years of continuous, uninterrupted work experience, and assuming no gender differences in family roles like child care. In a more comprehensive study that controlled for most of these relevant variables simultaneously—such as that from economists June and Dave O'Neill for the American Enterprise Institute in 2012—nearly all of the 23% raw gender pay gap cited by Mr. Obama can be attributed to factors other than discrimination. The O'Neills conclude that, "labor market discrimination is unlikely to account for more than 5% but may not be present at all."

These gender-disparity claims are also economically illogical. If women were paid 77 cents on the dollar, a profit-oriented firm could dramatically cut labor costs by replacing male employees with females. Progressives assume that businesses nickel-and-dime suppliers, customers, consultants, anyone with whom they come into contact—yet ignore a great opportunity to reduce wages costs by 23%. They don't ignore the opportunity because it doesn't exist. Women are not in fact paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.

Administration officials are (very) occasionally challenged on their discrimination claims. The reply is that even if lower average female pay is a result of women's choices, those choices are themselves driven by discrimination. Yet the choice of college major is quite free, and many colleges recruit women into high-paying science or math majors. Likewise, many women prefer to stay home with their children. If doing so allows their husbands to maximize their own earnings, it's not clear that the families are worse off. It makes no sense to sue employers for choices made by women years or decades earlier.

The administration's claims regarding the gender pay gap are faulty, and its proposal to make it easier for women to sue employers for equal pay would create a disincentive for firms to hire women.

Mr. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus. Mr. Biggs is a resident scholar at AEI.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Petraeus: Democracy Dividends from Afg. investment on: April 09, 2014, 02:02:11 PM
Democracy Dividends from the Afghanistan Investment
American sacrifices of 13 years paid off in a successful election. By late summer we may know how well.
By David H. Petraeus and Michael E. O'Hanlon
April 8, 2014 6:35 p.m. ET
WSJ


With an enthusiastic election turnout on Saturday, the Afghan people took a major step toward electing a new president—a crucial step for a young democracy seeking to demonstrate that it can peacefully pass power from one leader to another. This will be a first for Afghanistan, a country where most transitions have been violent. But we need to be patient and realistic as we watch and support this process as it plays out over the spring and summer.


To be sure, the show of democracy in action on Saturday was impressive. When one of us commanded coalition forces during the last major elections there, the parliamentary vote of 2010, security efforts were led by the International Security Assistance Force. Afghans had somewhat more than 200,000 uniformed personnel of varying degrees of preparation, and the Taliban carried out some 500 acts of violence. About five million Afghans voted; more than a million of those votes were ultimately disqualified. Similar figures characterized the 2009 presidential vote, when Hamid Karzai won his second term.

This time, foreign troops, only one-third the number deployed in 2010, played a decidedly secondary role. Afghan forces, now 350,000 strong, provided security, and violent incidents declined to 150—still too many, but a big improvement. More than seven million Afghans appear to have voted, after a vigorous campaign that included debates and large rallies across the country, and extensive media coverage.

But as well as the election went, this was just the start. Here are the steps that lie ahead:

1) Vote counts must be officially certified. This is the stage where fraud is uncovered, and remedial steps taken, by independent election authorities within Afghanistan. The formal and final results should come in a few weeks.

2) Assuming that no candidate gets more than 50% of the initial vote, the top two finishers will contest a runoff election. The third-place finisher will have to accept that, despite his high hopes, he will not lead the country into the future, and ask his followers to calmly accept the result.

3) Runoff ballots will have to be printed and distributed, mostly by Afghans, and a second vote held, probably in June. Security could be an even bigger challenge then, as the weather will be warm and the fighting season will be well under way.

4) After the runoff election, vote-counting and certification will take place all over again. With former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and former foreign minister (and 2009 presidential runner-up) Abdullah Abdullah leading in polls before and on election day, the stage could be set for a close race, so the stakes will be higher and the work of independent bodies even more important.

5) Again, the losing candidate will face a crucial test of his character in accepting the result of the runoff. If the vote is tainted by massive cheating, we cannot fairly counsel the loser to passively accept the result, but the more likely scenario is some degree of irregular activity occurring on both sides. In other words, the result—likely to come in late July or August—may be somewhat uncertain, but as good as can realistically be hoped.

6) Since the vote itself will be imperfect, and since Afghanistan remains a divided and tense nation, the winner will have to gain legitimacy in part from how he reaches out to the loser and to President Karzai and how he builds a new governing coalition. The formation of the cabinet will be crucial. It must be as multiethnic and inclusive—and willing to act inclusively—as the cabinets Mr. Karzai built. The new administration must also be poised to improve Afghanistan's governance and make at least modest quick strides against corruption, a plague within this young nation.

Inauguration day is likely to be in late summer. That would give the new president time to sign the Bilateral Security Accord with the U.S., as all candidates have said they would, and then to sign similar documents with other foreign governments. These agreements will allow a crucial international military presence of advisers and so-called enablers to continue past Dec. 31, albeit at much lower numbers of troops than at present.

All of this can work, and there is good reason to be hopeful. Ashraf Ghani is a brilliant economist well poised to lead a campaign against corruption, and Abdullah Abdullah has been promoting political reform including direct election of governors (now appointed by the president) and a stronger parliament. But none of the remaining process will be easy or unblemished, and it definitely won't be fast.

That's all right. We can wait. Coalition forces have demonstrated patience and resoluteness for 13 years. This has been a tough, frustrating war for the U.S., but our men and women in uniform and their coalition and Afghan partners have served valiantly and with impressive staying power. We may not be headed for a classic victory, but with continued commitment the prospects for an acceptable outcome in Afghanistan look fairly good.

Gen. Petraeus, commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011, is a professor at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College and the University of Southern California. Mr. O'Hanlon, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, is the author of "Healing the Wounded Giant: Maintaining Military Preeminence While Cutting the Defense Budget" (Brookings Institution Press, 2013).
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 09, 2014, 02:00:10 PM
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/04/obamas-illegal-alien-auntie-onyango-dies-at-61/
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Defense policy in the wake of the Ukrainian Affair on: April 09, 2014, 01:42:34 PM
second post

 U.S. Defense Policy in the Wake of the Ukrainian Affair
Geopolitical Weekly
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 02:59 Print Text Size
Stratfor

By George Friedman

Ever since the end of the Cold War, there has been an assumption that conventional warfare between reasonably developed nation-states had been abolished. During the 1990s, it was expected that the primary purpose of the military would be operations other than war, such as peacekeeping, disaster relief and the change of oppressive regimes. After 9/11, many began speaking of asymmetric warfare and "the long war." Under this model, the United States would be engaged in counterterrorism activities in a broad area of the Islamic world for a very long time. Peer-to-peer conflict seemed obsolete.

There was a profoundly radical idea embedded in this line of thought. Wars between nations or dynastic powers had been a constant condition in Europe, and the rest of the world had been no less violent. Every century had had systemic wars in which the entire international system (increasingly dominated by Europe since the 16th century) had participated. In the 20th century, there were the two World Wars, in the 19th century the Napoleonic Wars, in the 18th century the Seven Years' War, and in the 17th century the Thirty Years' War.

Those who argued that U.S. defense policy had to shift its focus away from peer-to-peer and systemic conflict were in effect arguing that the world had entered a new era in which what had been previously commonplace would now be rare or nonexistent. What warfare there was would not involve nations but subnational groups and would not be systemic. The radical nature of this argument was rarely recognized by those who made it, and the evolving American defense policy that followed this reasoning was rarely seen as inappropriate. If the United States was going to be involved primarily in counterterrorism operations in the Islamic world for the next 50 years, we obviously needed a very different military than the one we had.

There were two reasons for this argument. Military planners are always obsessed with the war they are fighting. It is only human to see the immediate task as a permanent task. During the Cold War, it was impossible for anyone to imagine how it would end. During World War I, it was obvious that static warfare dominated by the defense was the new permanent model. That generals always fight the last war must be amended to say that generals always believe the war they are fighting is the permanent war. It is, after all, the war that was the culmination of their careers, and imagining other wars when they are fighting this one, and indeed will not be fighting future ones, appeared frivolous.

The second reason was that no nation-state was in a position to challenge the United States militarily. After the Cold War ended, the United States was in a singularly powerful position. The United States remains in a powerful position, but over time, other nations will increase their power, form alliances and coalitions and challenge the United States. No matter how benign a leading power is -- and the United States is not uniquely benign -- other nations will fear it, resent it or want to shame it for its behavior. The idea that other nation-states will not challenge the United States seemed plausible for the past 20 years, but the fact is that nations will pursue interests that are opposed to American interest and by definition, pose a peer-to-peer challenge. The United States is potentially overwhelmingly powerful, but that does not make it omnipotent.

Systemic vs. Asymmetric War

It must also be remembered that asymmetric warfare and operations other than war always existed between and during peer-to-peer wars and systemic wars. The British fought an asymmetric war in both Ireland and North America in the context of a peer-to-peer war with France. Germany fought an asymmetric war in Yugoslavia at the same time it fought a systemic war from 1939-1945. The United States fought asymmetric wars in the Philippines, Nicaragua, Haiti and other places between 1900-1945.

Asymmetric wars and operations other than war are far more common than peer-to-peer and systemic wars. They can appear overwhelmingly important at the time. But just as the defeat of Britain by the Americans did not destroy British power, the outcomes of asymmetric wars rarely define long-term national power and hardly ever define the international system. Asymmetric warfare is not a new style of war; it is a permanent dimension of warfare. Peer-to-peer and systemic wars are also constant features but are far less frequent. They are also far more important. For Britain, the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars was much more important than the outcome of the American Revolution. For the United States, the outcome of World War II was far more important than its intervention in Haiti. There are a lot more asymmetric wars, but a defeat does not shift national power. If you lose a systemic war, the outcome can be catastrophic.

A military force can be shaped to fight frequent, less important engagements or rare but critical wars -- ideally, it should be able to do both. But in military planning, not all wars are equally important. The war that defines power and the international system can have irreversible and catastrophic results. Asymmetric wars can cause problems and casualties, but that is a lesser mission. Military leaders and defense officials, obsessed with the moment, must bear in mind that the war currently being fought may be little remembered, the peace that is currently at hand is rarely permanent, and harboring the belief that any type of warfare has become obsolete is likely to be in error.

Ukraine drove this lesson home. There will be no war between the United States and Russia over Ukraine. The United States does not have interests there that justify a war, and neither country is in a position militarily to fight a war. The Americans are not deployed for war, and the Russians are not ready to fight the United States.

But the events in Ukraine point to some realities. First, the power of countries shifts, and the Russians had substantially increased their military capabilities since the 1990s. Second, the divergent interests between the two countries, which seemed to disappear in the 1990s, re-emerged. Third, this episode will cause each side to reconsider its military strategy and capabilities, and future crises might well lead to conventional war, nuclear weapons notwithstanding. Ukraine reminds us that peer-to-peer conflict is not inconceivable, and that a strategy and defense policy built on the assumption has little basis in reality. The human condition did not transform itself because of an interregnum in which the United States could not be challenged; the last two decades are an exception to the rule of global affairs defined by war.

U.S. national strategy must be founded on the control of the sea. The oceans protect the United States from everything but terrorism and nuclear missiles. The greatest challenge to U.S. control of the sea is hostile fleets. The best way to defeat hostile fleets is to prevent them from being built. The best way to do that is to maintain the balance of power in Eurasia. The ideal path for this is to ensure continued tensions within Eurasia so that resources are spent defending against land threats rather than building fleets. Given the inherent tensions in Eurasia, the United States needs to do nothing in most cases. In some cases it must send military or economic aid to one side or both. In other cases, it advises.
U.S. Strategy in Eurasia

The main goal here is to avoid the emergence of a regional hegemon fully secure against land threats and with the economic power to challenge the United States at sea. The U.S. strategy in World War I was to refuse to become involved until it appeared, with the abdication of the czar and increasing German aggression at sea, that the British and French might be defeated or the sea-lanes closed. At that point, the United States intervened to block German hegemony. In World War II, the United States remained out of the war until after the French collapsed and it appeared the Soviet Union would collapse -- until it seemed something had to be done. Even then, it was only after Hitler's declaration of war on the United States after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that Congress approved Roosevelt's plan to intervene militarily in continental Europe. And in spite of operations in the Mediterranean, the main U.S. thrust didn't occur until 1944 in Normandy, after the German army had been badly weakened.

In order for this strategy, which the U.S. inherited from the British, to work, the United States needs an effective and relevant alliance structure. The balance-of-power strategy assumes that there are core allies who have an interest in aligning with the United States against regional enemies. When I say effective, I mean allies that are capable of defending themselves to a great extent. Allying with the impotent achieves little. By relevant, I mean allies that are geographically positioned to deal with particularly dangerous hegemons.

If we assume Russians to be dangerous hegemons, then the relevant allies are those on the periphery of Russia. For example, Portugal or Italy adds little weight to the equation. As to effectiveness, the allies must be willing to make major commitments to their own national defense. The American relationship in all alliances is that the outcome of conflicts must matter more to the ally than to the United States.

The point here is that NATO, which was extremely valuable during the Cold War, may not be a relevant or effective instrument in a new confrontation with the Russians. Many of the members are not geographically positioned to help, and many are not militarily effective. They cannot balance the Russians. And since the goal of an effective balance-of-power strategy is the avoidance of war while containing a rising power, the lack of an effective deterrence matters a great deal.

It is not certain by any means that Russia is the main threat to American power. Many would point to China. In my view, China's ability to pose a naval threat to the United States is limited, for the time being, by the geography of the South and East China seas. There are a lot of choke points that can be closed. Moreover, a balance of land-based military power is difficult to imagine. But still, the basic principle I have described holds; countries such as South Korea and Japan, which have a more immediate interest in China than the United States does, are supported by the United States to contain China.

In these and other potential cases, the ultimate problem for the United States is that its engagement in Eurasia is at distance. It takes a great deal of time to deploy a technology-heavy force there, and it must be technology-heavy because U.S. forces are always outnumbered when fighting in Eurasia. The United States must have force multipliers. In many cases, the United States is not choosing the point of intervention, but a potential enemy is creating a circumstance where intervention is necessary. Therefore, it is unknown to planners where a war might be fought, and it is unknown what kind of force they will be up against. The only thing certain is that it will be far away and take a long time to build up a force. During Desert Storm, it took six months to go on the offensive.

American strategy requires a force that can project overwhelming power without massive delays. In Ukraine, for example, had the United States chosen to try to defend eastern Ukraine from Russian attack, it would have been impossible to deploy that force before the Russians took over. An offensive against the Russians in Ukraine would have been impossible. Therefore, Ukraine poses the strategic problem for the United States.
The Future of U.S. Defense Policy

The United States will face peer-to-peer or even systemic conflicts in Eurasia. The earlier the United States brings in decisive force, the lower the cost to the United States. Current conventional war-fighting strategy is not dissimilar from that of World War II: It is heavily dependent on equipment and the petroleum to power that equipment. It can take many months to field that force. That could force the United States into an offensive posture far more costly and dangerous than a defensive posture, as it did in World War II. Therefore, it is essential that the time to theater be dramatically reduced, the size of the force reduced, but the lethality, mobility and survivability dramatically increased.

It also follows that the tempo of operations be reduced. The United States has been in constant warfare since 2001. The reasons are understandable, but in a balance-of-power strategy war is the exception, not the rule. The force that could be deployed is seen as overwhelming and therefore does not have to be deployed. The allies of the United States are sufficiently motivated and capable of defending themselves. That fact deters attack by regional hegemons. There need to be layers of options between threat and war.

Defense policy must be built on three things: The United States does not know where it will fight. The United States must use war sparingly. The United States must have sufficient technology to compensate for the fact that Americans are always going to be outnumbered in Eurasia. The force that is delivered must overcome this, and it must get there fast.

Ranges of new technologies, from hypersonic missiles to electronically and mechanically enhanced infantryman, are available. But the mindset that peer-to-peer conflict has been abolished and that small unit operations in the Middle East are the permanent features of warfare prevent these new technologies from being considered. The need to rethink American strategy in the framework of the perpetual possibility of conventional war against enemies fighting on their own terrain is essential, along with an understanding that the exhaustion of the force in asymmetric warfare cannot be sustained. Losing an asymmetric war is unfortunate but tolerable. Losing a systemic war could be catastrophic. Not having to fight a war would be best.

Read more: U.S. Defense Policy in the Wake of the Ukrainian Affair | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Obama dismantles on: April 09, 2014, 01:28:46 PM
Putin Invades, Obama Dismantles
The U.S. rushes to obey a nuclear arms treaty while Russia cheats.
April 8, 2014 7:20 p.m. ET

John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that "Russian provocateurs" had infiltrated eastern Ukraine in order to foment "an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis." Also on Tuesday, the Pentagon announced steep cuts to U.S. nuclear forces, four years ahead of schedule, in accordance with the 2010 New Start treaty with Russia.

At this point in Barack Obama's Presidency we should be used to the mental whiplash. But we still feel concussed.


So let's slow down and follow the thread. Russia has seized Crimea and has 50,000 troops as a potential invasion force on the border with eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin is also abrogating the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Kiev agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal—at the time the third largest in the world—in exchange for guarantees of its territorial integrity from Russia, the U.S. and U.K. That memorandum has now proved to be as much of a scrap of paper to the Kremlin as Belgium's neutrality was to Berlin in the summer of 1914.

The Kremlin is also violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans the testing, production and possession of nuclear missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles. Russia has tested at least three missiles—the R-500 cruise missile, the RS-26 ballistic missile and the Iskander-M semi-ballistic missile—that run afoul of the proscribed range limits.

The Obama Administration has suspected for years that Vladimir Putin was violating the INF Treaty, which supporters hail as the triumph of arms control. The Russians were boasting of their new missile capabilities in open-source literature as far back as 2007. Yet as defense analysts Keith Payne and Mark Schneider noted in these pages in February, "since 2009, the current administration's unclassified arms-control compliance reports to Congress have been mum on the Russian INF Treaty noncompliance."
Opinion Video

At a minimum, Congress should call on Rose Gottemoeller, confirmed last month as under secretary of state for arms control over strenuous objections from Florida Senator Marco Rubio, to explain what the Administration knew, and what it disclosed, about Moscow's INF violations when she negotiated New Start.

Ms. Gottemoeller has been publicly noncommittal on this point, perhaps because she knew New Start would never have won a two-thirds Senate majority if Russia's INF cheating had been widely known. The episode reminds us of why people like former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl were right to oppose the ratification of New Start.

Which brings us to the Administration's announcement on cutting U.S. nuclear forces to levels specified by New Start four years before the treaty's 2018 compliance deadline. The news comes a few days after Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists reported that "Russia has increased its counted deployed strategic nuclear forces over the past six months." Yet at the same time America's stockpile of warheads and launchers has declined.

Mr. Obama has dismissed Russia as a regional power, but he is maneuvering the U.S. closer to a position of absolute nuclear inferiority to Russia. The imbalance becomes even worse when one counts tactical nuclear weapons, where Russia has a four-to-one numerical advantage over the U.S.

To the surprise of defense analysts, the Pentagon will make the sharpest cuts in the submarine and bomber legs of the nuclear triad, while mostly preserving the silo-based Minuteman ICBMs. This means that the U.S. will maintain a stationary, and vulnerable, nuclear force on the ground while largely dismantling what remains of our second-strike capability at sea and in the air. A crucial part of deterrence is convincing an adversary that you can survive a first strike. It does not help U.S. security to dismantle the most survivable part of the U.S. arsenal.

It's fashionable in the West to dismiss this as "Cold War thinking," but it appears that Vladimir Putin hasn't given up on such thinking or he wouldn't be investing in new nuclear delivery systems.
***

Cold War or no, recent events are providing daily reminders that the great-power rivalries of previous centuries are far from over. They have also offered the grim lesson that nations that forsake their nuclear deterrent, as Ukraine did, do so at considerable peril. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 the Senate refused to ratify Jimmy Carter's SALT II Treaty. Any serious response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine should include a formal and public U.S. demarche about Russian cheating on the INF treaty, while promising to withdraw from New Start if the cheating continues.

Nuclear arsenals aside, the timing of Mr. Obama's nuclear dismantling couldn't be worse as Mr. Putin contemplates his next moves in Ukraine and sizes up a possible Western response. Someone said recently that Mr. Putin plays chess while Mr. Obama plays checkers, but that's unfair to the noble game of checkers.
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Duqm on: April 09, 2014, 01:26:40 PM
y Robert D. Kaplan

A noteworthy geopolitical shift is emerging that the media have yet to report on. In future years, a sizable portion of the U.S. Navy's forces in the Middle East could be spending less time in the Persian Gulf and more time in the adjacent Indian Ocean. Manama in Bahrain will continue to be the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet. But American warships and their crews, as well as the myriad supply and repair services for them, could be increasingly focused on the brand new Omani port of Duqm, located outside the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Sea, which, in turn, forms the western half of the Indian Ocean.

High-ranking U.S. defense officials, military and civilian, have been visiting Oman and particularly Duqm of late. A few years ago, Duqm was just a blank spot on the map, facing the sea on a vast and empty coastline with its back to the desert. Now, $2 billion has been invested to build miles and miles of quays, dry docks, roads, an airfield and hotels. By the time Duqm evolves into a full-fledged city-state, $60 billion will have been spent, officials told me during a visit I made there -- a visit sponsored by the government of Oman.

Duqm is a completely artificial development that aims to be not a media, cultural or entertainment center like Doha or Dubai, but a sterile and artificially engineered logistical supply chain city of the 21st century, whose basis of existence will be purely geographical and geopolitical. Duqm has little history behind it; it will be all about trade and business. If you look at the map, Duqm lies safely outside the increasingly vulnerable and conflict-prone Persian Gulf, but close enough to take advantage of the Gulf's energy logistics trail. It is also midway across the Arabian Sea, between the growing middle classes of India and East Africa.

Key Indian Ocean Ports
Click to Enlarge
For Oman, Duqm is key to nation building, as it will further link the southwestern Omani province of Dhofar and its port of Salalah with the ports of Muscat and Sohar in northeastern Oman. For the United States, Duqm will be a partial answer to the Chinese-built port of Gwadar on the nearby coast of Pakistan. As China continues its growing involvement in Indian Ocean ports (as I documented in my 2010 book, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power), the United States will seek to preserve the balance of power in the Indian Ocean with its own military and commercial footprint. The reported new emphasis on Duqm would be a giant step toward the U.S. Navy becoming an Indian Ocean-Pacific sea force instead of an Atlantic-Pacific one, as it has been for all of its previous history. From Duqm, the U.S. Navy would still be close enough to the Persian Gulf to bomb Iran, yet without American warships being as hemmed-in and exposed to attack as they are in Bahrain. To be clear, this will be a gradual and subtle shift over time. The U.S. Navy is not deserting Bahrain and the Gulf.

For China, Duqm can be a transshipment hub for its consumer goods bound for the Indian subcontinent and East Africa -- especially for the growing markets of Tanzania and Mozambique. In other words, container ships would arrive from China, and the containers themselves would then be off-loaded at Duqm for transport on smaller ships to various points in Africa, India and the Greater Middle East. Salalah, farther southwest, already serves this purpose. But local officials maintain that there will be enough commercial sea traffic in coming decades to make Duqm viable as well. Though China has openly expressed interest in utilizing Duqm, Omani officials assured me that China will never have the influence over this new port as they have at others around the Indian Ocean.

The scale of development here is simply profound, attesting to the Indian Ocean's increasing geopolitical importance. I drove five hours across the desert from the Omani capital of Muscat to reach Duqm, with almost nothing in between but a bare-knuckled wilderness in innumerable shades of gray and little else besides goats and camels in sight. Upon arrival, I saw a 4.5-kilometer main breakwater built of reinforced concrete octopods protecting the new port, which already features mobile and rail harbor cranes, as well as rail lines already laid for future gantry cranes. Sixteen warships from the Gulf Cooperation Council sat along the pier in preparation for a live fire exercise the next day. The dry docks were filled with merchant vessels in need of repair. American Navy ships have been arriving for shore visits in greater frequency. Port authorities are planning for enhanced facilities in order to, perhaps one day, service U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.

Officials briefed me in front of a large and detailed scale-model of Duqm as they hope it will appear years hence: composed of fisheries, an oil refinery, a transit hub for petrochemicals, a rail link, mineral-based manufacturing, a desalinization plant, a hospital, a mall, an international school, a town center and a tourist zone. Obviously, the airport here will have cargo facilities. The runway, already built, is long enough to receive flights from Europe. With 80 kilometers of virginal coastline allotted to Duqm, the new city-state could be larger than Bahrain or Singapore. And this is all just phase one -- being built from scratch and inspired only by location on the map. The very fact of Duqm, as it exists and as it is envisioned, constitutes testimony to the fact that geography will be as important to the 21st century as it was to all previous ones.

New natural gas discoveries in the desert to the rear should help service Duqm's energy needs, as a population of 67,000 is envisioned here by 2020. The new railhead will link Duqm to Muscat, Dubai and ports all the way north to Kuwait at the head of the Persian Gulf. If a rapprochement between the United States and Iran is achieved, Duqm will repair Iranian ships and be an offshore base for the burgeoning Iranian economy. If the rapprochement never materializes, Duqm, located safely outside the Gulf, will be a port of choice for merchant shipping companies that do not want their mega-ships diverted to the volatile Gulf region. Instead, they can make landfall here and potentially take deliveries of hydrocarbons by rail or pipeline from inside the Gulf.

To spur development, Duqm will have a new legal framework and will feature 100 percent foreign ownership of local businesses. Foreign companies that invest here will enjoy tax-free status and the ability to operate without currency restrictions, I was told.

Duqm's biggest advantage for the Americans is that Oman has been for decades among the most stable, well governed and least oppressive states in the Greater Middle East -- whereas the problem the Chinese have in Gwadar is that Pakistan is among the least stable and worst governed states in the Greater Middle East. Strategic geography for a port requires not just an advantageous location vis-a-vis the sea, but vis-a-vis land, too. And it is road, rail and pipeline connections from Omani ports outside the Persian Gulf -- Salalah and Sohar, as well as Duqm -- to ports inside the Gulf, from Dubai to Kuwait, that potentially make this place so attractive.

If Duqm succeeds -- still a big "if" -- it will become a great place name of the 21st century, just as Aden was in the 19th and Singapore was in the 20th. Given continued demographic growth and the theoretical prospect for economic dynamism in India and East Africa -- even as Europe hovers around zero population growth with stagnant, over-regulated economies -- the Indian Ocean, as I have been writing for years, could become the geopolitical nerve center of postmodern times. Duqm constitutes a multibillion-dollar bet that I am right.

Read more: The Indian Ocean World Order | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: April 09, 2014, 12:33:25 PM
http://www.tpnn.com/2014/04/09/more-irs-pro-obama-corruption-revealed/
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cong. Mike Rogers has big conflict of interest on: April 09, 2014, 11:46:18 AM


http://www.dickmorris.com/republican-chairman-has-huge-benghazi-conflict-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Samuel Adams 1776 on: April 09, 2014, 11:42:20 AM
"How strangely will the tools of a tyrant pervert the plain meaning of words!" --Samuel Adams, to John Pitts, 1776
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin Invades, Obama Dismantles on: April 09, 2014, 11:30:31 AM
Putin Invades, Obama Dismantles
The U.S. rushes to obey a nuclear arms treaty while Russia cheats.
April 8, 2014 7:20 p.m. ET

John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that "Russian provocateurs" had infiltrated eastern Ukraine in order to foment "an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis." Also on Tuesday, the Pentagon announced steep cuts to U.S. nuclear forces, four years ahead of schedule, in accordance with the 2010 New Start treaty with Russia.

At this point in Barack Obama's Presidency we should be used to the mental whiplash. But we still feel concussed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. Getty Images

So let's slow down and follow the thread. Russia has seized Crimea and has 50,000 troops as a potential invasion force on the border with eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin is also abrogating the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Kiev agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal—at the time the third largest in the world—in exchange for guarantees of its territorial integrity from Russia, the U.S. and U.K. That memorandum has now proved to be as much of a scrap of paper to the Kremlin as Belgium's neutrality was to Berlin in the summer of 1914.

The Kremlin is also violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans the testing, production and possession of nuclear missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles. Russia has tested at least three missiles—the R-500 cruise missile, the RS-26 ballistic missile and the Iskander-M semi-ballistic missile—that run afoul of the proscribed range limits.

The Obama Administration has suspected for years that Vladimir Putin was violating the INF Treaty, which supporters hail as the triumph of arms control. The Russians were boasting of their new missile capabilities in open-source literature as far back as 2007. Yet as defense analysts Keith Payne and Mark Schneider noted in these pages in February, "since 2009, the current administration's unclassified arms-control compliance reports to Congress have been mum on the Russian INF Treaty noncompliance."
Opinion Video

Atlantic Council senior fellow Adrian Karatnycky on the origins of renewed pro-Russian protests. Photo credit: Getty Images.

At a minimum, Congress should call on Rose Gottemoeller, confirmed last month as under secretary of state for arms control over strenuous objections from Florida Senator Marco Rubio, to explain what the Administration knew, and what it disclosed, about Moscow's INF violations when she negotiated New Start.

Ms. Gottemoeller has been publicly noncommittal on this point, perhaps because she knew New Start would never have won a two-thirds Senate majority if Russia's INF cheating had been widely known. The episode reminds us of why people like former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl were right to oppose the ratification of New Start.

Which brings us to the Administration's announcement on cutting U.S. nuclear forces to levels specified by New Start four years before the treaty's 2018 compliance deadline. The news comes a few days after Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists reported that "Russia has increased its counted deployed strategic nuclear forces over the past six months." Yet at the same time America's stockpile of warheads and launchers has declined.

Mr. Obama has dismissed Russia as a regional power, but he is maneuvering the U.S. closer to a position of absolute nuclear inferiority to Russia. The imbalance becomes even worse when one counts tactical nuclear weapons, where Russia has a four-to-one numerical advantage over the U.S.

To the surprise of defense analysts, the Pentagon will make the sharpest cuts in the submarine and bomber legs of the nuclear triad, while mostly preserving the silo-based Minuteman ICBMs. This means that the U.S. will maintain a stationary, and vulnerable, nuclear force on the ground while largely dismantling what remains of our second-strike capability at sea and in the air. A crucial part of deterrence is convincing an adversary that you can survive a first strike. It does not help U.S. security to dismantle the most survivable part of the U.S. arsenal.

It's fashionable in the West to dismiss this as "Cold War thinking," but it appears that Vladimir Putin hasn't given up on such thinking or he wouldn't be investing in new nuclear delivery systems.
***

Cold War or no, recent events are providing daily reminders that the great-power rivalries of previous centuries are far from over. They have also offered the grim lesson that nations that forsake their nuclear deterrent, as Ukraine did, do so at considerable peril. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 the Senate refused to ratify Jimmy Carter's SALT II Treaty. Any serious response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine should include a formal and public U.S. demarche about Russian cheating on the INF treaty, while promising to withdraw from New Start if the cheating continues.

Nuclear arsenals aside, the timing of Mr. Obama's nuclear dismantling couldn't be worse as Mr. Putin contemplates his next moves in Ukraine and sizes up a possible Western response. Someone said recently that Mr. Putin plays chess while Mr. Obama plays checkers, but that's unfair to the noble game of checkers.
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: The Outlaw Vladimir Putin on: April 09, 2014, 11:28:50 AM
The Outlaw Vladimir Putin
Moscow's flouting of treaties, international law and the Geneva Conventions is raising world-wide dangers.
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey
April 8, 2014 7:26 p.m. ET

President Obama has repeatedly described Russia's annexation of Crimea as illegal and illegitimate, but he also has sought to minimize the strategic significance of Vladimir Putin's land grab. In fact, Moscow's actions—including threatening "civil war" if Ukraine resists the orchestrated seizures of government buildings and uprisings in eastern Ukraine by ethnic Russian separatists this week—are more than isolated instances of law breaking. Russia's behavior, and its legal and institutional justifications, are dangerously destabilizing the existing international system. What is the likely result? The use of force around the world will be encouraged, and the incentive to acquire nuclear weapons magnified.

The three basic principles of international law, reflected in the United Nations Charter and long-standing custom, are the equality of all states, the sanctity of their territorial integrity, and noninterference by outsiders in their internal affairs. Yet Moscow now insists that it has unique rights and privileges to protect the interests of Russian-speaking populations outside its borders and has special prerogatives regarding "historically Russian" territories that were not included in the Russian Federation upon the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991.

David Gothard

Regarding Ukraine, these claims have been translated into a set of specific demands that Moscow has made in speeches by Mr. Putin and others, in articles sanctioned by the Kremlin, and in discussions between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry. The demands include that Ukraine postpone its planned May elections, change its constitution to provide for regional autonomy (making eastern Ukraine more vulnerable to Russia's capture), and dramatically weaken the national government in Kiev. Moscow insists that Ukraine make Russian the country's second "official" language and ban certain nationalist political parties.

Moscow also says Ukraine must become a neutral, non-allied and essentially demilitarized state—a status known during the Cold War as "Finlandization," after terms that the Soviet Union imposed on Finland as the price of its "independence."

Mr. Putin's demands clearly violate the principle of nonintervention in internal affairs enshrined in the U.N. Charter and customary international law.

Moscow's use of troops that have removed their Russian insignia, coupled with explicit denials that its military forces were even engaged in operations in Crimea, violates the Geneva Conventions. The failure to promptly repatriate captured Ukrainian troops and equipment after the invasion of Crimea was complete, and ended, and Russia's attempt to coerce Ukrainian soldiers to join the Russian military, are also major violations.

The laws of war are already under assault from terrorist organizations, whose fighters routinely operate out of uniform to blend into the civilian population. Having a major power like Russia engage in similar conduct further erodes respect for these vital norms—and encourages such rogue behavior by other governments and by rebel movements.

Moscow's disregard of its treaty commitments has also gravely undermined the cause of nuclear nonproliferation. In particular: The takeover of Crimea shreds the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, by which Ukraine agreed to give up its formidable nuclear arsenal in exchange for commitments from Russia, Britain and the U.S. to respect its political independence and territory.

Now Russia has demonstrated that military force in general, and nuclear weapons in particular, may well remain the only reliable means of protection against hostile actions by larger, more powerful states. If the Russian takeover of Crimea continues to meet with only a tepid international response, the message is clear: Security commitments among states are worthless. This development is certain to have profoundly destabilizing consequences world-wide.

Thus it is hard to comprehend the Pentagon's announcement Tuesday that the U.S. would drastically reduce its nuclear-weapons capability to comply with the New START treaty with Russia. America is reducing its ability to defend itself in order to honor a treaty with a country that has just flagrantly violated a treaty.

In the event that the U.S. and its allies decide to abandon the minimalist and ineffective approach they have taken so far, several options for challenging Russia's bogus claims come to mind. These measures are not a substitute for strong leadership, but they at least offer the prospect of countering what so far has been a one-sided conflict.

As a start, the Obama administration should seek a U.N. General Assembly resolution requesting the International Court of Justice's opinion on the legality of the Russian annexation of Crimea. Russia would have no veto over such a request. Since the General Assembly has already voted overwhelmingly to declare the annexation illegal, this should easily be achieved. If the International Court of Justice concurs that the annexation is illegal, that would eviscerate Moscow's bogus international-law arguments and could serve as the basis for future legal claims against Russia and Russian entities.

The U.S. and its allies should also challenge the legality of Russia's actions in every conceivable legal venue, whether domestic or international. Since Moscow has justified its annexation by claiming Ukrainian governmental corruption and repression against Russian speakers, Western governments should give high-profile publicity to whatever evidence of Russian official corruption they possess, and to evidence that unrest in Crimea and eastern Ukraine has been fostered by Russian military and intelligence agents.

Nongovernmental organizations, which cast themselves as guardians of the international order, have a role to play in condemning and challenging in courts of law and in public opinion Russia's actions against Ukraine. This would also offer NGOs the opportunity to show their neutral commitment to maintaining the international order, as many of these groups claimed to be doing in challenging the legality of American actions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.

More than arcane legal principles are at stake. Western failure to champion a narrative of international rights and wrongs, rooted in the language of law and legitimacy, would be tragic. Meeting Russia's aggression with passivity undermines already weakened domestic support for a robust and engaged foreign policy in the U.S. and other Western countries, and it promises to make the world a more lawless and violent place.

Messrs. Rivkin and Casey served in the Justice Department during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. They are partners in the Washington, D.C., office of Baker Hostetler LLP. Mr. Rivkin is also a senior adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why are the Jews so Powerful?l on: April 09, 2014, 10:43:28 AM
Why are the Jews So Powerful?

Posted on May 6, 2013 by alaiwah
By Farrukh Saleem

The writer is the Pakistani Executive Director of the Center for Research and Security Studies, a think tank established in 2007, and son in law of Khalilur Rehman of the Jang Group.

There are only 14 million Jews in the world:

seven million in the Americas
five million in Asia
two million in Europe
100,000 in Africa .

For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims.

Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together.

Ever wondered why?

Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish.
Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine’s ’Person of the Century’, was a Jew.
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew.
So were Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.
Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity:
Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle.
Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine.
Albert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine.
Gertrude Elion gave us a leukemia fighting drug.
Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B.
Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis.
Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.
Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission.
Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology.
Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy.
Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill.
George Wald won a Nobel for our understanding of the human eye.
Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology.
Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.
Over the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion
Muslims (other than Peace Prizes).
Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip.
Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor;
Peter Schultz, optical fibre cable;
Charles Adler, traffic lights;
Benno Strauss, Stainless steel;
Isador Kisee, sound movies;
Emile Berliner, telephone microphone;
Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.
Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include:
Ralph Lauren (Polo),
Levis Strauss (Levi’s Jeans),
Howard Schultz (Starbuck’s) ,
Sergey Brin (Google),
Michael Dell (Dell Computers),
Larry Ellison (Oracle),
Donna Karan (DKNY),
Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and
Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts).
Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (Fed chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman (US Senator), Madeleine Albright (American secretary of state), Casper Weinberger (American secretary of defense), Maxim Litvinov ( USSR foreign Minister), David Marshal ( Singapore ‘s first chief minister), Issac Isaacs (governor-general of Australia ), Benjamin
Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Barry Goldwater (US Senator), Jorge Sampaio (president of Portugal ), John Deutsch (CIA director), Herb Gray (Canadian deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British home
secretary), Bruno Kreisky (chancellor of Austria ) and Robert Rubin (American secretary of treasury).

In the media, famous Jews include:
Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyveld (Executive editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).

The most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world.

Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.

At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by winning seven gold medals; Lenny Krayzelburg is a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Spitz, Krayzelburg and Boris Becker (Tennis) are all Jewish.

Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman,
Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Goldie Hawn, Cary Grant, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and
Peter Falk are all Jews.

As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew.

Among directors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling ( Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky andHutch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The Thief of Baghdad ) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.

So, why are Jews so powerful?

Answer : EDUCATION

Why are Muslims so powerless?

There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the Americas . Every fifth human being is a Muslim; for every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are 100 Muslims.

Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless?

Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around
500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims.

The United States has 5,758 universities and India has 8,407.

In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ , and intriguingly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top-500.

As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100 per cent.
A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40 per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per cent.
Some 98 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same.
Around 40 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world attended university while no more than two per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same.
Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million.

In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs. (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million).

The Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on research and development, while the Christian world spends around five per cent of its GDP.
Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge!

Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society.

In Pakistan , there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK , the number of book titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.

Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan ‘s export of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at one per cent. The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent; Kuwait , Morocco , and Algeria are all at 0.3 per cent, while Singapore is at 58 per cent.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.

Why are Muslims powerless?

…..Because we aren’t producing knowledge,
…..Because we aren’t diffusing knowledge.,
…..Because we aren’t applying knowledge.

And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies.

Interestingly, the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under $2 trillion.

America , just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12 trillion; China $8 trillion, Japan $3.8 trillion and Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).
Oil rich Saudi Arabia , UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and services worth over $1 trillion, Catholic Poland $489 billion and Buddhist Thailand $545 billion.

….. (Muslim GDP as a percentage of world GDP is fast declining).

All we do is shout to Allah the whole day and blame everyone else for our multiple failures!

Muslims are not happy

They’re not happy in Gaza
They’re not happy in Egypt
They’re not happy in Libya
They’re not happy in Morocco
They’re not happy in Iran
They’re not happy in Iraq
They’re not happy in Yemen
They’re not happy in Afghanistan
They’re not happy in Pakistan
They’re not happy in Syria
They’re not happy in Lebanon

So, where are they happy?

They’re happy in Australia
They’re happy in England
They’re happy in France
They’re happy in Italy
They’re happy in Germany
They’re happy in Sweden
They’re happy in the USA & Canada
They’re happy in Norway

They’re happy in almost every country that is not Islamic!

And who do they blame?

Not Islam…

Not their leadership…

Not themselves…

THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN

And they want to change the countries they’re happy in, to be like the countries they came from, where they were unhappy.
Try to find logic in that!

Jeff Foxworthy on Muslims:

1. If You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor. You are a Muslim
2. If You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes. You are a Muslim
3. If You have more wives than teeth. You are a Muslim
4. If You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon unclean. You are a Muslim.
5. If You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide. You are a Muslim
6. If You can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared Jihad against.
You are a Muslim
7. If You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing. You are a Muslim
8. If You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs. You are a Muslim
9. If You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four. You are a Muslim
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Corporate money leading to changes in curriculum on: April 09, 2014, 10:26:49 AM


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303847804579481500497963552?mod=WSJ_article_EditorsPicks
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / State Dept. vs. Pentagon on: April 09, 2014, 10:25:15 AM
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579479500649988892?mod=WSJ_article_EditorsPicks
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More pressure for referendums in eastern Ukraine on: April 09, 2014, 10:21:41 AM
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303873604579490860377829796?mod=WSJ_hppMIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond&mg=reno64-wsj
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US and Chinese Sec Defs meet on: April 09, 2014, 10:18:49 AM


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304640104579488752623145002?mod=WSJ_hppMIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond&mg=reno64-wsj
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Rise of American Totalitarianism on: April 09, 2014, 10:00:19 AM
http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2014/04/09/the-rise-of-american-totalitarianism-n1820552/page/full
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The depth of the problem on: April 09, 2014, 09:41:02 AM
http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/world/the-depth-of-the-problem/931/?tid=sm_fb
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nipping women's concupisence for Allah on: April 08, 2014, 11:11:29 PM
second entry

http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2014/04/06/traditional-islamic-sanctioning-of-female-circumcisiongenital-mutilation-of-muslim-women-to-reduce-their-concupiscence/
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: April 08, 2014, 09:22:15 PM

Zang!

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2014/04/06/

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2014/04/08/
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Muslims fry Christian boy's head with rice and veggies on: April 08, 2014, 06:27:09 PM
http://shoebat.com/2014/04/05/muslims-fry-christian-boys-head-cook-rice-vegetables/
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Adams: Address to military 1798-- The C. requires a moral and religious people on: April 08, 2014, 06:01:44 PM
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a  whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --John Adams, Address to the Military, 1798
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: April 08, 2014, 05:56:00 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/03/californias-historic-drought/100706/
231  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The Case for Knife Rights on: April 08, 2014, 05:41:42 PM
http://reason.com/archives/2014/04/07/the-case-for-knife-rights?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reason%2FArticles+%28Reason+Online+-+All+Articles+%28except+Hit+%26+Run+blog%29%29&utm_content=FaceBook
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption on: April 08, 2014, 05:15:36 PM
Thanks for the follow up.

It is important that we display integrity in our pursuit of the unveiling of corruption.  If our guy is innocent, we should know that too and be able to communicate the facts.
233  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: April 06, 2014, 06:18:42 AM
A fine time yesterday here in Rio.  Day two begins shortly.
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The battle for Najaf revisited ten years later on: April 05, 2014, 08:34:13 PM
I do not have audio where I am, but if I am not mistaken I know one of the men who was on this roof top.  BTW he has attended a DB Gathering and is a big fan.  He also introduced me to some serious friends of his and asked me to share my analysis of certain things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata_player&v=v00pc9-zP_s&app=desktop
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Amateurs are better than the CIA on: April 05, 2014, 08:22:25 PM
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/04/02/297839429/-so-you-think-youre-smarter-than-a-cia-agent?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=share&utm_medium=twitter
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: April 05, 2014, 06:28:30 PM
Similarly several years ago economist Walter Williams (who happens to be black) pointed out that Jamaicans and their children in America score equal  to whites on average.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dennis Prager on The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: April 04, 2014, 09:53:22 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oglXa0jG6OQ
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Young families net worth below 1989 levels on: April 03, 2014, 07:11:41 PM
http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/savings/net-worth-young-families-today-falls-below-1989-levels-0?cm_ven=msearthlinkcf
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Doing well by doing good on: April 03, 2014, 06:34:03 PM
http://www.examiner.com/article/joel-osteen-s-church-theft-opens-can-of-worms-jaws-drop-as-folks-do-the-math

BTW, when I am travelling in the South, sometimes I run into this guy's sermons on Sunday mornings.  Not bad.  Does seem he believes in doing well by doing good , , , ,
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Koch bro speaks on: April 03, 2014, 05:49:28 PM

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303978304579475860515021286?mod=hp_opinion&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303978304579475860515021286.html%3Fmod%3Dhp_opinion



Charles Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society

Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.
  

by Charles G. Koch  
 

Updated April 2, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET


I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.


A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. "The natural progress of things," Jefferson wrote, "is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." He knew that no government could possibly run citizens' lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.

Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.

Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we're "un-American" and trying to "rig the system," that we're against "environmental protection" or eager to "end workplace safety standards." These falsehoods remind me of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Here are some facts about my philosophy and our company:

Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.

Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our "commitment to a cleaner environment" and called us "a model for other companies."

Our refineries have consistently ranked among the best in the nation for low per-barrel emissions. In 2012, our Total Case Incident Rate (an important safety measure) was 67% better than a Bureau of Labor Statistics average for peer industries. Even so, we have never rested on our laurels. We believe there is always room for innovation and improvement.

Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.

Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011. That government handout (which cost taxpayers billions) needlessly drove up food and fuel prices as well as other costs for consumers—many of whom were poor or otherwise disadvantaged. Now the mandate needs to go, so that consumers and the marketplace are the ones who decide the future of ethanol.

Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people's lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off—not just today, but for generations to come. I'm dedicated to fighting for that vision. I'm convinced most Americans believe it's worth fighting for, too.

Mr. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries.
241  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Brutality complaints drop dramatically on: April 03, 2014, 05:42:36 PM


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=728872463822149&set=a.256913927684674.62537.254620607914006&type=1&theater
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Massive voter fraud in NC on: April 03, 2014, 05:40:02 PM
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/04/massive-voter-fraud-in-north-carolina-35570-voters-with-same-last-name-and-dob-voted-in-two-states/
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Son of Ghanaian immigrants on: April 03, 2014, 05:35:41 PM
http://nypost.com/2014/04/02/student-accepted-to-all-ivy-league-schools-gives-tips-for-success/
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VA State resolution wrong: "Dar al-Hijrah Critics Spread Fear and hate" on: April 03, 2014, 04:52:09 PM
Va. Legislator: Dar al-Hijrah Critics Spread Fear and Hate

by John Rossomando
IPT News
April 3, 2014

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4340/va-legislator-dar-al-hijrah-critics-spread-fear


Criticism of extremist rhetoric and the numerous terror plots that have emanated
from Falls Church, Va.'s Dar al-Hijrah Islamic center equals "ignorantly painting
all Muslims with the same brush" and "dividing the country using fear and hate," a
Virginia state legislator said.

Alfonso Lopez, a Democratic candidate for Congress, slammed Fox News host Eric
Bolling for denouncing Lopez's resolution honoring the 30th anniversary of the
controversial Virginia mosque.

Bolling criticized the resolution because of Dar al-Hijrah's ties to American-born
al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and convicted Fort. Hood shooter Nidal Hassan during
a March 19 broadcast.

"For Fox News to smear an important community institution by ignorantly painting all
Muslims with the same brush is reprehensible," Lopez wrote on his Facebook page and
in a post on the Daily Kos. "At its core, this is a rightwing media attack on the
faith and religious freedom of hard-working patriotic Americans."

Lopez created a petition attacking the "right-wing smears of the Dar al-Hijrah
Islamic Center" in response to the criticisms from Fox and others. He did not
respond to a request for comment from the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The resolution, which passed the Virginia General Assembly March 3, praised the
mosque for "promot[ing] cooperation, tolerance and mutual understanding among
different faiths."

Dar al-Hijrah may engage in inter-faith outreach. But it also has a checkered
history in its preaching, in addition to the radical people it has attracted and the
terrorists who prayed there.

Lopez also downplayed the mosque's established connections with terrorism and
extremist rhetoric by playing up the charitable activities and interfaith activities
it engages in under the rubric of dawah (Muslim evangelism).

"In 2013, the members of the center provided more than $80,000 in assistance to
community members struggling to pay their rent, and served 200 families from all
faith backgrounds each week through their weekly food bank," Lopez wrote on his
Facebook page.

That's lovely, but it doesn't erase the mosque's history and law enforcement
assessments of it. U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports obtained by the IPT
have noted that the mosque "has been under numerous investigations for financing and
[providing] aid and comfort to bad orgs and members" and have called it a "front for
Hamas operatives in U.S."

Among those bad members, Awlaki served as an imam at Dar al-Hijrah before leaving
the United States. Two 9/11 hijackers attended services there, as did Fort Hood
shooter Nidal Hasan and terrorist financier Abdurrahman Alamoudi.

The Washington Post noted in 2011 that "almost no other mosque in the country has
been linked to so many cases of alleged terrorism."

Meanwhile, radical material continues to be peddled by the mosque.

Books the Investigative Project on Terrorism bought during a Dar al-Hijrah's book
sale last fall included texts sanctioning hatred and violent jihad against
non-Muslims. These books raise questions about the mosque's commitment to tolerance
and understanding.

· Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi's book The Desired Muslim Generation, opines that
"Palestine will ultimately be freed and the Jews conquered. The whole universe will
be on their side; even trees and rocks will somehow support them by saying: 'O
Muslim O Abdullah [slave of Allâh (I)] Here is a Jew hidden behind me come and kill
him.'"

Qaradawi writes that Muslims who wage violent jihad believe "their religion is so
precious to them that their worldly life has become despicable."

"They fight in Allah's cause, so they kill [others] and are killed," Qaradawi
writes, citing Surah 9:111 of the Quran.

· The Last Apocalypse, An Islamic Perspective, written by A.R. Kelani, speculates
that the dajjal -- Islam's Antichrist -- will be a Jew and that "Allah will destroy
all religions except Islam."

· In Pursuit of Allah's Pleasure , another book purchased at Dar al-Hijrah's sale,
slams imams who teach that all religions are equal and says that following "iman" --
essentially the Golden Rule -- is the only thing that is required.

"We need to wage Jihad, for without it the flag of Islam will never he raised and
the forces of disbelief will continue to dominate our lives. Jihad is the [m]eans by
which we can establish the Caliphate after having removed the disbelieving rulers
who have replaced the law of Allah by man-made laws," In Pursuit of Allah's Pleasure
says.

· The Ideal Muslim Society, by Dr. Muhammad Ali Hashimi, talks about diverting zakat
funds, ordinarily used as charity to help the poor, to fund jihad.

"The most important of these (other uses for zakat) is jihad for the sake of Allah
because the Muslim ummah should focus on conveying its message to the world,"
Hashimi writes.

Radical ideas also come from mosque leadership.

The mosque's chief imam, Shaker Elsayed, has repeatedly endorsed violent jihad. Just
last year, he spoke at a Northern Virginia high school where he preached that Muslim
men would be last in line except if it was for "arms for jihad."

"Are we afraid because they may call us terrorists?" Elsayed asked. "You are a
terrorist because you are a Muslim," Elsayed said. "Well give them a run for their
money. Make it worth it. Make this title worth it, and be good a Muslim.

"Be a good Muslim who fights back when there is an attack on yourself, on your
community, your society, your nation, your religion, your dignity, your honor, your
women, your children or your neighbors."

This was not the first time Elsayed has endorsed terrorism. In a December 2002
speech, he took issue with the labels "suicide bombers, homicide bombers, or
murderers, or killers."

"To decide that this man is a martyr or not a martyr, it is a pure religious
matter," Elsayed said. "Nobody who is not Muslim has any right to decide for us, we
the Muslims, whose is a martyr or another. We as Muslims will decide that. It is
in-house business."

Esam Omeish, a former Dar al-Hijrah board member who remains an occasional preacher
at the mosque, similarly endorsed violent jihad in an October 2000 speech. In it, he
congratulated Palestinian terrorists for "giving up their lives for the sake of
Allah and al-Aqsa." In another speech two months later, he praised Palestinians for
knowing "that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land."

He was the president of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim American Society (MAS).
Dar al-Hijrah belongs to MAS, and MAS has operations on the mosque's property.
Omeish reportedly hired al-Awlaki to be the mosque's imam.

Dar al-Hijrah's rogue's gallery also includes Abdelhaleem Ashqar, a Hamas operative
who is serving an 11-year sentence for obstructing a federal terrorism investigation
into the terrorist group's activities. Ashqar, a former mosque board member, helped
organize a 1993 meeting in Philadelphia with other Hamas operatives.

In November, the mosque hosted Hassan Hachimi, the head of the Syrian Muslim
Brotherhood's political bureau. While there, Hachimi condemned the United States for
classifying al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist group.

Preaching hatred and intolerance of non-Muslims has been a longstanding problem at
Dar al-Hijrah.

For example, a Nov. 12, 2004 sermon by Imam Johari Abdul Malik promised that Islam
would become the "first religion in America" and that it would be better to "be a
Muslim under these conditions than a kaffir (unbeliever) under any conditions."

Sheik Mohammed al-Hanooti, another Dar al-Hijrah imam, also showcased the mosque's
commitment to tolerance in a December 18, 1998 where he said, "Just like Allah
promises us, he will stand in his promise and the curse of Allah will become true on
the Jews. The curse of Allah will become true on the Americans and the tyrannies."

There are plenty of mosques in Virginia that engage in interfaith dialogue without
sermons and literature promoting jihad and which have not served as magnets for
terrorists and their supporters. Pointing out Dar al-Hijrah's full history is
neither bigoted nor ignorant.

Demanding that people not point out that documented history, on the other hand,
appears to be a naked play for political support by a legislator with bigger
ambitions than the General Assembly in Richmond.

Related Topics: John Rossomando
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 03, 2014, 04:39:47 PM
Mmm , , , , dunno about that.  Ultimately either way the logic leads to paying the cheap labor in its country of origin-- which will happen at least some of the time with IT if the labor is blocked from coming here.   I'm not taking sides here, I am assessing the logic.
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Patriot Post: Rand study differs from WH numbers by a lot on: April 03, 2014, 04:25:08 PM
second post

Numbers Games

An unpublished RAND Corporation study on ObamaCare enrollment has been kept
under wraps and it's not hard to see why. While the White House trumpeted
meeting its goal of 7.1 million enrollees this week, RAND says the number
actually enrolled -- having paid their premium -- could be as few as 858,000.
Just 23% of enrollees were previously uninsured. Even if the true number is
somewhere in the middle, Democrats running for election in November will rue
the day 7.1 million was mentioned. And how did the administration get its
numbers so fast anyway? A couple of months ago Jay Carney stonewalled, saying,
"I'm not going to cherry-pick numbers," meaning, tell you any. Now he says
they know to the decimal point because "our system has gotten a lot better."
Color us skeptical.
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jefferson says Scalia is right on: April 03, 2014, 04:22:44 PM

"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the
Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and
instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented
against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." --Thomas
Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 1823
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin calls Palin on: April 03, 2014, 03:57:13 PM
http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/04/03/putin-asks-palin-who-to-invade-next-in-hilarious-tonight-show-sketch/

The social implications of The Tonight Show to do this bit are rather intriguing , , ,
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 03, 2014, 03:37:44 PM
Two interesting articles Obj, each with merit.

Am I correct in sensing a cognitive dissonance between them?

One is mad we bring in foreign IT folks, the second suggests outsourcing.  How would the IT engineers feel if the proffered solution for their industry were to outsource to China and India?
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 03, 2014, 03:33:45 PM
Interesting. 

For the medical side of things let's post on the Health thread on the SCH forum.
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 594
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!